old friends, new perspectives

One of the weird things about doing what I do, and being in the community that I do it in, is that your friends have fans that see them in a completely different light than you do. Every now and then, though, you catch a glimpse of what they see when they're sitting there in their seats, watching us do our things.

Tonight I played a little in-the-round acoustic concert with my friends Matthew Perryman Jones, Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken. All three of these people are dear friends of mine. I got to know their music after getting to know them so, although I think they make wonderful music, that's not the first thing I associate with them.

I've worked off and on with Derek for years. We've toured together in a variety of circus acts, played on a bunch of the same records, and I'm now taking my turn in the role he created in Caedmon's Call. And tonight, I got his music in a way I never have before.

I realized that he makes statements that cause discussion. The one that caught my ear tonight was a line from a new song : "you're only free when you have no choice." What an interesting line. I don't know, at first, what it even really means, but it makes me think. And I think if I was with somebody else, it might make us both think, and our thinking will probably not be the same and we'll have the afore-mentioned discussion. That's so cool.

Derek's writing is littered with "statements" like that, and now that I realize it, it's fascinating. I have never written something like that. I tell stories. She saw this and it made her think of this... That's the way I get to the bottom of my thoughts. I just love that there is such a variety of ways to express ideas and get people thinking and talking and changing. And I love that I get to discover my old friends in new ways because of it.